Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Xiaomi, Leica collaborate for 2023’s first big phone

The end of the year may be here, but the first phones for the new year are kicking off, even if Australia probably won’t get them.

The year 2022 may well be drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about the gadgets on their way for next year. And there are plenty of gadgets on their way in the new year. We’ll see plenty, and while a bunch of phones are to be expected in late February to March for MWC next year, you might want to expect some a little sooner, too.

Xiaomi may well be the first, as the company is already talking up a big new phone for the big new year, complete with another Leica collaboration.

You might recall that Xiaomi and camera brand Leica teamed up for phones earlier in the year, even if Australia wasn’t exactly on the cards for a release. We’re still not sure if that will change, even with local Xiaomi distributor Panmi, but if it does, there’s a new phone on the horizon worth getting excited for, as Leica and Xiaomi collaborate once more.

What looks to be the year’s last new phone and yet also next year’s first new phone is coming in the Xiaomi 13 series, a range that’ll see two slightly different phones in the Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro.

The first will see a 6.36 inch AMOLED screen with very slim 1.61mm bezels and a design a little like what both Apple and Samsung have been doing with flat edges in their respective phones, while the Xiaomi 13 Pro will slip the flat edges and go with a thinner and pinched look, encasing a larger 6.73 inch AMOLED screen.

The Xiaomi 13 uses flat edges.

Under the hood of each is Qualcomm’s recently announced Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, supporting plenty of speed and 5G, and then there’s the camera, which will see Leica’s expertise involved. In the Xiaomi 13 Pro, that’ll include a 1 inch-type sensor with a 23mm F1.9 Leica lens catering for big wide shots, with that extra large sensor likely providing more clarity. A smaller sensor with a similar aperture will be found in the regular Xiaomi 13, offering 23mm at F1.8.

They’ll be paired with a new Leica 75mm telephoto lens which will also be used as a form of portrait lens, with the camera range in the pair running the gamut of 0.5X, 1X to 3.2X. In short, it’s an ultra-wide, wide, and telephoto camera system tuned by Leica with the Leica look, complete with some extra stuff working behind the scenes, including 10-bit RAW photos calibrated by Adobe, 4K video captured in 10-bit Dolby Vision HDR, and more.

They’ll also arrive with wireless charging and the MIUI 14 operating system based on Android, but right now, China is the only place where the Xiaomi 13 series is being pitched, expected to land this week. As to whether Australia will receive the phones, that remains to be seen, but the company has said global availability details will be revealed in the upcoming months, so here’s hoping.

The Xiaomi 13 Pro goes for a slimmer look with thin edges.
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